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Israel High Court urges exception to Palestinian entry ban

[JURIST] Israel's High Court has urged the country's military to reconsider its ban on entry by Palestinians and allow a Palestinian woman to study in Israel [JURIST news archive]. Sawsan Salameh was denied entry to Israel by the military after she was accepted to study chemistry and pursue a doctoral degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem [academic website]. A three-justice High Court panel on Wednesday gave both sides seven days to negotiate a plan to allow Salameh to attend the university before the High Court issues its final ruling. Justice Elyakim Rubinstein urged Israel to "encourage seeds of cooperation," saying, "at some point we would like to achieve a measure of normalcy in ties with our neighbors." Several Israeli university officials signed a letter [press release] sent to Minister of Defense Amir Peretz [BBC profile] saying, "The universities protest the sweeping ban and call upon the security establishment to examine all such instances on an individual basis and enable students, who are not suspected of involvement in activities that threaten the security of Israel, to enter the country for academic purposes."

The Palestinian entry ban was instituted in September 2000 in an effort to increase security following a break down in peace talks. In May, the Supreme Court of Israel [official website] upheld [JURIST report] the legality of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law [text], which limits the rights of Palestinians to live in Israel, and allows only Palestinian women 25 years or older and men 35 years or older to join their families in Israel and eventually be eligible for full citizenship. Reuters has more.

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